The raku bowl is great. Now, the endless question... Is it safe to drink from? We read about American raku vs. Japanese raku. Amrak, no good. Japrak, good. You, being trained in Japan, should know the differences. So is your safe?
I drink Matcha regularly out of Japanese raku chawan. There is a certain feeling to the bowls that really appeal to me. I have others that are not raku that I also like, but, if I have my eyes closed, and, you put a raku bowl in my hands, the feeling of it usually gives it away. So, why haven't you explored it more?
Thanks for the reply T'd Off..... as for the questions, a couple of thoughts. "Amrak, no good. Japrak, good."
It is may be more nuanced than that and as they say in Japan.... case by case. When dealing with firing at lower temps ie. raku, a stronger flux is needed to reduce the melting point of the various glaze ingriedents. Tradionally, lead was used which I wouldn't necessecarily call safe as depending on how it's fired it could go either way. On the other hand Amrak tends to use industrially prepared frits which compose the flux element, and, depending on how the piece is fired, it could be safe..... however if the glaze is loaded up with oxides ie. copper, it may not be. The posted piece contains an industrial frit clear glaze with a commercially prepared underglaze which I consider "safe". As I as well as other potters here have stated, by far the greatest risk of chemical exposure is to the potters themselves.
While I appreciate the comment about working in Japan, my work was not in Raku, therefore I'm more of a generalist concerning expertise. My Subaru mechanic does a great job with our Outback, but might feel a bit lost working on a Mitsubishi Fuso
I'm in agreement TO that there are so many wonderful qualities of 楽焼 Rakuyaki.... alas time is short. I often tell my students that there are probably 3 lifetimes worth of learning in ceramics..... at least at one tempreture range. Another factor is economic.
That said, I've now started a seasonal chawans by "subscription" program ie. a yearly " subscription" would make available 4 chawan of mine, a fall, winter, spring, and summer. If anyone is interested in this idea, kindly contact me through my web site: http://www.robertfornellceramicarts.com
for further details.
Thank you again Tead Off for bringing up some interesting points.